The First Authentic Agent-Centric Brokerage

The THRIVE Organization consists of THRIVE California Realty, California Estates Realty and a real estate personal brand building program that we call Powered by THRIVE.

THRIVE is the nation’s first authentic agent-centric residential real estate brokerage company.

This post attempts to draw a distinction between broker-centric companies (the vast majority of brokerages in the United States including virtually all national brands), companies that claim to be agent-centric but by our definition are not, and what we define as authentic agent-centric.

To be successful, a real estate agent needs to be client-centric. We train agents to understand the difference between a transactional mindset and a relationship mindset. We view the role of the brokerage firm to be a multi-faceted support system that should empower the client-centric agent.

Innovation has opened up the possibility of a transformation in the relationship between brokerage firms and their real estate agents. The vast majority of national brokerage firms wish this were not the case. Innovation has occurred on two fronts, one is technology of course, and the other is office space.

At the core of the comparison between broker-centric and authentic agent-centric companies is branding and economics. As I discussed in the whitepaper The Big Lie, http://thrive.us/blog/the-big-lie/, data proves that the personal brand of the agent is paramount to success, not the brokerage brand. Therefore the cost of affiliation by the agent with a broker-centric company becomes unjustified. This is the case even if the brokerage firm caps the broker splits only to be reset the next year.

As a professional sales person you know that you can’t just pitch features and expect to get new business. You also have to express the benefits of your features and tie them down. Brokerage firms are revolving doors because the benefits they pitch are largely based upon myth.

The claim that The THRIVE Organization is the nation’s first authentic agent-centric residential real estate brokerage company is a big assertion no doubt. More specifically, our company and its three brand names, THRIVE California Realty, California Estate Realty and Powered by Thrive, comprise one entity that is the first of its kind. There have been other companies claiming to be agent-centric. Their stake to that claim is not new but further examination is needed.

What is an agent-centric brokerage exactly? Definitions used in the past by brokerage firms will state something like we are intrinsically agent-centric because all the attention is put on the associates. One national company making this claim goes on to justify its claim on their corporate website because their “agents give back to their communities”, they offer a “health coverage plan for all of its associates” but the associates have to pay for it and they have a “leadership council”. These are nice things but I don’t quite connect those dots to a claim of agent-centric.

I will tell you how I define an authentic agent-centric brokerage firm by starting with what it is not.

The Standard Brokerage
This is the industry standard model, the old school model; the way the business has always worked for decades and for the most part the way it still works today. The standard bearers for this model are the household names: RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Berkshire (formerly Prudential), ERA, Sotheby’s and others. There are many lesser known companies of course, regional and local. They are everywhere in every city. These are broker-centric models. Because the broker is the brand that matters, at least in their view, the broker gets to keep a lot of the commission. Agents are kind of like employees, in their view, but not really.

RE/MAX did shake up this model many years ago however by disguising broker splits with high desk fees, administrative fees, transaction fees and a multitude of other costs. Somebody has to pay for the expense offices and the international kickbacks and it is not going to be the company or the franchisees. Call it what you will but it is still a broker-centric model.

Another problem with the standard model is the cats. Yes the cats. See if you work for IBM, or Lockheed Martin or some other fortune 500 company you are an employee and are treated as such. If you work for Coldwell Banker you are not an employee, you are, as you know, an independent contractor. You do not get a salary or a pension. You are on your own to generate your income. Tough sledding sometimes.

But these standard model brokers act a lot like employers but as you know, to affiliate with them, you have to pay them. In many cases they are also your landlords expecting you to pay high rent and be glad you did. But you are not a salaried employee, you are a cat. Running a standard brokerage model, particularly in the age of disruption, is like herding cats. I was with RE/MAX. Nice company. Nice people.

The Disruptor
So it was bound to happen. Disruption. Broker fee capping. Finally an “agent-centric brokerage firm” that caps the broker splits. Grew like wild fire. Way better than the old standard model which refuses to die. For many years the claim to being agent-centric was pretty valid. But no more.

Everything is wonderful until those broker caps reset in January and you have to shell out another $25-$50,000 to the market center. Who do you think is paying for the great office that you may not even use every day? Hmm. Mumbling started to be heard. If this place is so agent-centric, then why over a 20 year real estate career is it costing you millions potentially when you consider compound investing alternatives? After RE/MAX I moved to Keller Williams. Nice company. Nice people. More meowing however. Some cats just have a mind of their own.

Time for More Disruption
Time for new thinking, at least I thought. So starting from scratch, well not really from scratch after a 30 years real estate career as a developer, investor, and broker inside two major firms, I worked on the blueprint for an authentic agent-centric design. I know it is not anything described above. While there are some components in existing companies that are agent-centric there are others that are broker-centric.

The Qualifications
THRIVE is the first Authentic Agent-Centric Brokerage and here is why:
1. 100% Commission Plan: To be really agent-centric brokerage firms have to allow agents to keep most of their commission. We charge low transaction fees for closings. Any standard model brokerage firm fails this first test because of the reasons stated above. Keller Williams fails this first test also. Look behind the hype and calculate the costs of the affiliation both annually and over a prolonged real estate career. The numbers prove that these affiliations can cost the agent what could be a retirement plan in an industry where there is none.

2. Agent Brand Building Program: Your brand matters, not the brokerage. Research of buyers and sellers prove that they select an agent without concern of which brokerage firm they happen to be with at the time. Does your current brokerage firm really support agent brand building to the maximum extent allowed by the Bureau of Real Estate? A trade name that we allow you to place on your signs, business cards and sales materials is “Powered by THRIVE”. This speaks directly to this issue. What does your current broker do to empower your personal brand?

3. Low Costs: THRIVE only charges $49.95 per month to be an agent with our firm. We do not nickel and dime our agents. Brokerage firms that charge high administrative, desk or other fees are broker-centric, not agent-centric.

4. Luxury Listing Agent Training: An agent-centric brokerage needs to train agents to succeed in the luxury home end of the market. THRIVE University is a 12 week online luxury listing agent training available for no out-of-pocket cost to our agents. You even get a large PowerPoint luxury home listing presentation during the training. You can learn more by watching this video: Thrive.US/612 Does your current brokerage qualify?

5. Luxury Branding: For those agents that want to pursue luxury listings, you can affiliate with our luxury brand, California Estates Realty. This is a great name internationally as well. Does your current brokerage qualify?

6. Mentorship: Many agents need to shadow a successful agent or desire assistance with their marketing and deal-making strategies. Many agents need someone they can call on the weekends when an escrow goes sideways. I act as your personal coach and mentor. You can review my bio here: Thrive.US/scott.pdf. Does your current brokerage qualify?

7. Leads: Select agents may receive an invitation to be on our upcoming listing lead team. Buyer leads are available everywhere and are very taxing to work. Seller leads can lead to new listings and listings are where the money is. Does your current brokerage qualify?

8. Digital: We handle all your transaction management work for you digitally so you can generate new business. Does your current brokerage qualify?

9. Very Cool Places to Work: You may think that THRIVE is a virtual brokerage. We are not. We have energetic, beautifully decorated work spaces for you in Calabasas, Westlake Village, Northridge, expanding to other locations in SoCal soon. See work spaces at ThriveSuccessCenters.com. The days of having to work out of an overpriced boring real estate office are over. Have fun, network with new people and do deals at our work spaces. Does your current brokerage qualify?

So those are the 9 qualifications that we see to be an authentic agent-centric brokerage. Learn more at Join.Thrive.US. Thanks for reading and all the best with your career.

Scott Farrell
Founder of The THRIVE Organization

The Big Lie

The Big Lie

The BIG LIE is a falsehood that real estate brokers tell their agents and consumers.

This lie is so pervasive and so long-standing that many real estate agents have accepted it as truth and continue to spread the lie themselves. The vast majority of agents that spread this lie do not even know that it is a lie. They just trust the source.

Some agents know better. Most of the agents that know better are top producers. They figured out the truth about the big lie in the real world. That fact should tell you a lot.

What is even more disturbing is that the one national brand that acknowledges the big lie in a couple marketing documents still perpetuates the big lie in their actions. Their signage demotes the agent and promotes their brand. This is duplicitous.

The big lie is that the real estate brokerage brand matters to the consumer. The Big Lie

There is significant evidence to back up the assertion that the real estate brokerage brand matters to the consumer in their hiring decision is in fact a lie. The facts are that the brokerage company’s brand is actually not a factor that consumers take into consideration when selecting a real estate agent. The reason resides in how their minds process brands to begin with and how that relates to the residential real estate brokerage industry.

The National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, (a research study done every year and the numbers are similar year to year), revealed that only 4 percent of the time did buyers choose their real estate agent by a specific real estate company or brand. But big box brokerage firms keep pouring millions into national television ads including the new Berkshire Company (the old Prudential). These companies claim that advertising their brand all over the place will sway the consumer when it comes to hiring an agent.

NAR’s research directly contradicts these claims.

“If you look at the reasons that ARE considered the ‘most important’ when choosing a REALTOR®, 97 percent have absolutely NOTHING to do with brand or company. They are ALL ‘individual agent characteristic’ in nature.”  Michael McClure, President and CEO of Professional One Real Estate and Professional One Franchising, LLC

Any real estate agent worth their salt knows that the money is in the listings. So what about home sellers? So maybe the big box advertisements and claims are really just targeting sellers so they list with their agents. Hmm. Let’s take a look at the data.

In these same surveys, the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers surveys done by the National Association of REALTORS, only 3 percent of sellers cited an agent’s affiliation with a particular firm as the important factor when choosing their agent.

3%

Hence the big lie.

So what accounts for the other 97%? Obviously the agent him-herself.

Sometimes these surveys reveal 4-5% but the point remains the same. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year to perpetuate this lie even though the companies that are spending the money know it’s a lie. Why would they do a crazy thing like that?

To recruit more agents.

They pitch agents that “brand” matters hoping that the agent will want to work for a great “brand” and that their great “brand” will help the agent get business.  We now know this is false.

What is ironic about this big lie is that a significant portion of the agent’s commissions goes to pay for all these expensive ads that have the effect of recruiting more agents, who are in fact more competition for the agent.  Funny, huh? This is what we call a vicious circle.

Think about this for a moment. Your commissions are being used to increase your competition in your local market place.  So now we know the truth, which is that it is the agent’s personal brand that matters. Once you see through the big lie, what should you, the individual agent do about it?

In the bestselling book entitled “The World Is Flat”, author Thomas L. Friedman’s analyzes globalization, which leads to a view of the world as much more of a level playing field in terms of commerce, where all competitors have an equal opportunity. This is largely due to the Internet. This phenomenon applies directly to real estate sales where a local agent can create a presence in a number of ways that have an impact on generating business. The individual can win, even against a global conglomerate. The reason is real estate is hyper local.

The truth is obvious. The business of selling homes is dominantly a people business done locally. Consumers don’t hire Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, or Keller Williams. While technically they contract with a local brokerage company, the consumer never meets national representatives of these firms. They rarely even meet the officers of the local real estate company. In their minds they hire the individual agent.

They make their hiring decision in a very personal way while we are lead to believe otherwise in the propaganda. The way that consumers actually behave in the real world is often very interesting and enlightening. An example is that they usually think categories first and then brands.

Categories first, then brands

“Honey, I know your buddies are coming over for the game tonight, what do you want to do about dinner?”
“Uh, how about pizza?”
“Great idea, I don’t feel like cooking anyway. Do you want order from Toppers or Pizza Hut”?

Sounds like a conversation in any home across the USA, does it not? So what happened in this example as it relates to brands? If you think about it for a moment, I think you will find yourself processing information like this all the time.

Consumers think categories first and then brands. First pizza; then Toppers or Pizza Hut.  It breaks down as follows:

  1. We need dinner.
  2. What category of food do we feel like having? Pizza
  3. Ok pizza. Which brand?

It is also important to know that consumers notoriously have very limited mindshare for brand choices, usually just a few per category, in some cases just one or two.

Consider this conversation:
“Honey, I know your buddies are coming over for the game tonight, what do you want to do about dinner?”
“Uh, how about pizza?”
“Great idea, I don’t feel like cooking anyway. Do you want frozen pizza, which in that case we can buy Tony’s, Tombstone, Amy’s Cheese Pizza, Red Baron, Totinas, Costco, Trader Joe Giottos, California Pizza Kitchen, Newman’s Own, Freschetta, or DiGiorno? In the case of delivery, do you want Toppers, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Papa John, Little Caesar, Round Table, Rosatis, Ameci, Big Al, Roma…
Honey oh my god, you’re killing me. Just order from Toppers.

Seems a bit ridiculous right?  People are not data regurgitation machines. You want a pizza? Yes maybe you have tried many but you automatically filter the list down in your memory to your favorites most of the time and go with it. Done, decision made, and lets get back to the game.

How this does relate to real estate, a much more important decision making scenario than what to eat tonight? Even though the decision as to which real estate agent to hire to list, market and sell their home, consumers handle the decision in a very similar way.

Let’s visit our couple once more.
“OK, I’m ready, let’s downsize. With the kids gone, we don’t need this size house anymore. Let’s finally put the house on the market.”
“So do you want me to set up a meeting with the real estate agent?”
“Yeah let’s do it. What about, what was her name, Jill Wade? … Or that other guy, Rob something, Fletcher I think? I want to talk to both of them.

The category is real estate agent. The brand is Jill or Rob. Consumers think of the agent as a person, not as a national brand. Yes, they may know who Jill or Rob were affiliated with in the past, but having us believe (in national ads and other nonsense) that consumers think “Forget Jill and Rob, that new commercial on TV with the balloon was amazing, let’s hire that company” is as disingenuous as it is nonsensical, just as it would be for a home owner to say something like “call that company with the multi-level recruiting program”.

While national branding is very important in many areas of consumer behavior, hiring a real estate agent is just not one of them and year after year the data supports this assertion. We also know that consumers usually only have room in their minds for one or two real estate agents so if you are not one of them; you are not getting the call.

In summary, the agent is the real brand and that brand must be “top of mind” with consumers to get the business. Mind share is key and the takeaway is that to be a successful agent, you need to know how to brand yourself and how to market your personal brand.

It is because of these realities that our company will continue its efforts to support agent-branding success via our economic model and our “Powered by THRIVE” initiative. With us, you can actually have “Powered by THRIVE” on your business card that show cases your brand such as The Jill Wade Group or the Jill Wade Team or a tag line such as Jill Wade Sells Westlake.

There is more evidence to support the assertions in this whitepaper. This further proof should further clarify how you might want to consider strategizing your branding, marketing plans and brokerage affiliation. Think about the top producers that you know.

Maybe there is a super star in your office. Maybe you read about one of them. Maybe you saw one of them on a reality show our just heard about them through the grapevine. Does a name come to mind? If so, pause for a moment and think about how you processed this. Was it their name that was prominent in your thoughts? Maybe you know which brokerage firm they were with or maybe not. Even if you did know, some of them may have switched firms. It happens with no impact on their success or personal branding. Why? They know about the big lie.

Powered by THRIVEPoweredByTHRIVE-logo-v2.0

Here is what can be printed on your business card with our firm: “Jill Wade” in big bold letters. In the lower right it can say “Powered by THRIVE”. The broker’s name speaks directly to reality. The brokerage firm supports your brand. We are your support system. You are the brand. We power you, not the other way around. You are the star; we are in the background where we should be. Does that make sense?

If you are brand new in the business, there is nothing wrong with having your business card have a THRIVE California or California Estates logo on it. You may not have created much of a brand yet. If that is your situation, you should at least start thinking about what your brand is and what it means. We can coach you to start that process. It’s creative and its fun. Think about what your value proposition is and what makes you different. More on this topic later.

The purveyors of the big lie perpetuate it by keeping a significant percentage of your hard earned commissions year after year, and or by charging you high monthly fees and or by nickel and diming you to death including Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Berkshire Hathaway, Sotheby’s, Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and the list goes on and on. These are all fine companies run by good people but you should make important decisions with the blinders off.

Our approach to solving the big lie problem cannot reside in just creating a BRE sanctioned name like Powered by THRIVE. No, that idea would just be fluff; more broker hyperbole unless we backed it up economically.

Agents can create and market their own brand in powerful ways now through blogs, a video channel, photo sharing, social and other networking strategies and much more. We train agents how to build their brand, not ours. THRIVE’s 100% commission plan now provides agents with the money they need to build their brand.

Our solution is three-fold.

  1. Tell the truth about branding to our agents
  2. Train and coach agents how to generate more business (12 week course and personal coaching and mentoring)
  3. Back up brand building with action.

What I mean by action is money. Even if the difference between our commission plan and the plans of  major brokerage companies only amounted to $25,000 a year in your bottom-line, and in some cases it is much more, over a 20 year real estate career, it can add up to over $1,300,000. Yes, you did read that number correctly, one million three hundred thousand dollars out of your pocket. We can send you the spreadsheet or you see online it at Join.Thrive.US.

100% Commission Structure

You need money to build your brand so we are a 100% commission plan company with transaction fees at each closing starting at just $375. Our agents keep more of their commission instead of financing ad campaigns for brokers (or giving away commissions to other agents in the form multi-level marketing).

The truth is simple. It was staring back at you every time you looked in the mirror. You are the star of the show. Our job is to empower you and help you build your brand.

Thanks for reading. All the best.

Scott Farrell
Founder of THRIVE California, California Estates and Powered by THRIVE
Thrive.US

Where is the Future of a Real Estate Agent?

What the future of an agent looks like is a topic for another article. The question we are addressing in this article is where.

I am not referring to which brokerage firm that an agent is affiliated with. We know from NAR surveys that which brokerage firm an agent is affiliated with has almost no impact on success. While it may have a significant impact on how much of their commission they keep, it has almost no impact on getting listings or obtaining clients. Consumers think individual agents, not brokerage firms. This is a critical distinction for an agent to make.

Where an agent does their work on a daily basis is the focus of this article.

Let’s take a look at Steve. Steve is a relatively new agent. Steve is excited about being his own boss and wants to be successful like some of the more experienced agents that he has heard about.

Steve has joined a national firm that has an office in his area. Steve is a bit more informed that most agents. He did his homework. He knows that this national firm will not, in and of itself, help him do more transactions. He has agreed to give his broker 30% of his commission on an ongoing basis so he can be around successful top producers and learn from them. Steve wants the vibe. He wants to feed off their energy.

Steve gets in the office early and sits at his cubicle in the bullpen. Steve is ready to go. Steve is not sure exactly what to do but he is jazzed to watch and learn from John Smith and Jackie Jones, the top producers in the firm. Steve smiles at the agent in cubicle next to him, Mark, who is wearing headphones and is enthralled with something on his laptop.

Steve stands up as he notices John Smith, alpha male, blast through the office, cell phone to his ear, making a beeline to a private office slamming the door behind him. Mark lifts his headphones off his ear momentarily.

Mark: “John did 45 million in sales last year. I think the market is slowing down though, what do you think?”

Steve: “Uh.. not sure. I guess not for him”.

Steve listens to phones calls emanating from other cubicles; setting up a car to be serviced, the game last night, the election, “the market” slowing down. Steve sighs as he peeks above his cubicle to see an animated John Smith continuing his phone call and having a great time in the process.

Jackie Jones zips around the corner. Steve has a plan and approaches her without hesitation.

Steve: “Hey you must be Jackie, my name is Steve, I am new in the office, and I wanted to personally congratulate you on your success. I wanted to ask you what has made you so successful?”

Jackie: “Thanks, nice to meet you Steve. Well… uh.. I guess I prospected a lot in the beginning, worked hard, networked a lot.”

Jackie’s cell phone rings. She motions to Steve to wait.

Jackie: “Hi Blake, right, sure. I’ll bring the market evaluation tonight of course” Jackie turns back to Steve, forcing a smile. “I have to take this, nice meeting you” Jackie continues to her private office.

That was Steve’s education. It took about 30 seconds. Steve returns to his cubicle. Mark lifts up his headphones.

Mark: “So…?”

Steve: “She said she prospected a lot and worked hard.”

Mark: “Amazing insight”.

Steve stares at his phone, and then opens his laptop.

Steve: “Time to start making calls.”  Mark puts his headphones back on.

Fast forward two hours. Steve hangs up, sighs, and starts searching the web on his laptop.

Steve: ”I think I am going to do one of those weekend workshops. Mark, who is better, Ferry, Proctor or Buffini or that other guy?”  No answer. Steve pears around the cubicle and then notices Mark is in the kitchen yucking it up with some other agents.

The reality is that Jackie Jones’s and John Smith’s of the world do not sit in the middle of a bullpen and make their 50 morning calls so guys like Steve can catch their vibe and learn from them. They know what they are doing, they are busy doing deals or planning their next tropical vacation.

The story of Steve can be told thousands of times across the country. When you consider the inner workings of a typical national brand real estate office, approximately 75% licensees do not come into the office very often and do not sell very much. Most of them leave the business within their first year. Another 15% do come into the office, want to learn the business and look forward to feeding off the vibe of top producers but often end up somewhat dismayed. 10% (or less) are top producers and keep to themselves and do not usually attend your typical Wednesday “sales” meeting to listen to the new termite guy or title rep. In addition, most top producers don’t eat donuts. We are also seeing a trend of top producers and their teams renting space independent of the large real estate offices. They don’t want the distraction.

As counter intuitive as it may seem, large real estate offices are not usually great places to learn how to sell a lot of real estate so ambitious new agents often seek knowledge and inspiration outside the building. That is why trainers like Mike Ferry, Brian Buffini, Craig Proctor and others are so successful and have lots of paying customers.

What is also true is that the typical economics of a large real estate office revolve around broker commission splits. Why? The splits pay for most of the office expenses. Do clients come to these nice offices? Not anymore.

These revelations might prompt us to consider that the best real estate environments may not be a “real estate” environments at all.

I was at a Wework office in West LA recently (https://www.wework.com/). They had about 500 tenants on several floors. What an incredible energetic vibe it was. Startups, entertainment people, creators, go-getters abound. I asked the representative how many of the tenants are real estate agents and she did not know if any of them were. Let’s say there were actually 10. That leaves 490 potential centers of influence for you. How many potential prospects or centers of influence do you meet in your typical large real estate office or “market center”? Zero.

I recommend that an agent consider driving a bit further just to be in one of these environments. These are places to generate business and have fun doing it all the while keeping the vast majority of your commission on the THRIVE 100% platform.

Do you desire deal-making training? THRIVE is a training centric next generation brokerage with Thrive University (online) and new trainings rolling out periodically (our next training due out towards the end of the summer looks at what you are actually selling and it is not real estate). Do you desire even more or different training? Get your fix with one of the trainers mentioned in this article or others. You have the money to pay for it. It is easy to gain knowledge in our industry but you have to know where to look for it.

You and you alone determine your success. Another company’s slogan used to be Think Different. We agree. Or maybe it is think different and thrive.

Scott

Why List with a Boutique Luxury Broker?

After extensive tenures as a broker with RE/MAX and Keller Williams I experienced something interesting. The buyers interested in my listings paid no attention to the firm I was with as a listing agent.

Yes, they paid a lot of attention to my marketing campaign and of course the home itself, but often, when speaking with them, they did not even notice what brokerage firm I was affiliated with.

At first I thought it a bit odd. After thinking about it for a while, it made sense. Why would they care? It is not about the listing agent in the eyes of the buyer. It is about the home. It is also about the emotional hot buttons that my campaign triggered. But I was invisible to them for the most part and so was RE/MAX or Keller Williams.

The other reality is that big box brokerage firms, national brands, virtually do nothing to help get listings sold. It is all the agent. This creates a dilemma for most home sellers. Most real estate agents have no formal education in marketing and advertising. I was lucky in this regard. My grandfather owned an advertising agency and packaging design firm. I grew up around advertising. I graduated Beta Gamma Sigma from a great business school with a degree in marketing. I guess it is in my DNA.

So all of this motivated me to study the best way to market luxury homes across the globe. Thrive has an unparalleled global marketing strategy for luxury listings that includes extensive syndication, ads in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Herald Tribune, The Robb Report and much more. This is expensive but it is the way to get top dollar. It is called Thrive Global Reach. Please emailPrint us to learn more.

Hiring the right broker to sell your home is a big financial decision. He or she better be a master marketer. Don’t be fooled by the logo on their business card. Dig deeper.

Thanks for visiting.

How to Get Top Dollar for a Luxury Home in Southern California – Starting in the Kitchen

Getting top dollar for a luxury home for sale in Southern California depends primarily on the appeal of the home’s amenities and enhancements. And the top draws are kitchens, bathrooms, eco-friendly green features, and smart technology throughout the home. Arguably, the most important luxury draw is the kitchen.

Savvy sellers know that the kitchen is considered the most important room in the house. It’s the room we cook and often dine in. The room where family activities – and more and more entertaining activities – take place. In short, the kitchen holds top place for the most coveted luxury home improvement today.

So what should a luxury kitchen contain? Superior cabinets, kitchen islands, Energy Star appliances, natural stone, glass, granite, and even concrete counter tops – these are all key elements of a sumptious kitchen’s appeal.

No matter what the actual features, the main goal is to increase comfort by installing items like wood, cork, bamboo, or custom tile flooring, hand-crafted fine wood cabinet doors, or cabinets crafted from stainless steel or bamboo – all heavily sought materials. The over all idea is to create striking design elements throughout the kitchen, from unique counter top surfaces to cabinet designs that reflect a chosen theme, whether rustic or ultra-modern. Apron front sinks, and tiled back splashes are strongly coveted design elements.

Luxury kitchen design should also include plenty of storage such as a walk-in pantry. You’ll also want pull-out drawers for pots and pans, cabinets with glass fronts to display dish and glassware, and built-in, recessed lighting for cabinets and shelves.

Today’s appliances may be called upon to be energy efficient, programmable and smart, and to serve a multitude of uses. For example, many refrigerators include built-in deep freezers. Built-in, temperature controlled wine cellars are another frequently sought-after touch. As for the oven, smart controls allow users to set an oven’s temperature, mode, and timer from phone or computer, and include quick self cleaning features, such as a steam option. Precisely controlled induction heat cook tops, ultra-quiet dishwashers with integrated water softeners, pot fillers to save carrying heavy pots to and from the sink are additional appliances that a well-appointed kitchen should include.

Entertainment systems such as flat screen TV’s or music systems are also considered must-haves in today’s most upscale kitchens.

While the kitchen may very well be the most sellable feature of any luxury home, we’ll look at other features that enhance high end home selling price in upcoming articles.

Co-Authored with Genie Davis.

Homes for Sale Los Angeles

homes-for-sale-los-angelesOur data feed is now coming in for all of Los Angeles. You can see all houses for sale in Los Angeles with beautiful photos and key information. In our view, its all the about the listings. Why? Because that is what you want. From West LA to Hollywood and beyond, the listings are here for you.

If searching for homes for sale in Los Angeles is what you are looking for without the hassle, we hope you have come to the right place. You can find homes for sale, homes that have recently been sold, homes for lease and homes that have just been rented as you can do your homework and start planning your next move.

Homes for Sale in Beverly Hills

Homes-for-Sale-In-Beverly-HillsEverybody wants to know about Houses for sale in Beverly Hills. Some people can even afford to live there. Click on this Search Map and you can peruse to your hearts desire and gaze at homes for sale in Beverly Hills beyond $50,000,000. 

Some these listings have very famous owners of course. Some you may have seen as sets in movies. It’s fun to see this world from a bird’s eye view. Check it out.